My Amma (Mum) would never waste the stalks whether it is cauliflower or radish greens. If we had cauliflower for dinner, the next day I was sure that the stalks would be served up this way. When I was younger and didn’t know better, I didn’t appreciate it at all. But now I am full of appreciation for my Amma’s resourcefulness.
300 grams cauliflower stalks (peeled and cut into 2-3 centimetres)
75 grams of split chick pea (channa dhal)
50 grams of grated fresh or frozen coconut
2 tablespoons of peanut oil
25 grams of peanuts
A sprig of curry leaves
1 dried red chilli cut into 2 or 3 pieces
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Rinse the split chick peas and soak in water for about 3 hours. Take a medium sized saucepan and add the split chick peas along with 500 ml of water and a pinch of salt. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes. Take care that the dish doesn’t dry out – the chick peas should be soft about 75% cooked. If there is too much liquid still, tip some of it off and if there isn’t enough add a couple of tablespoons of water along with the cauliflower stalks. Add a ¼ teaspoon of salt and cook for about 3-5 minutes until the stalks and chick peas are soft but not mushy. By the time you finish the cooking process, there shouldn’t be any excess water, if there is just increase the heat and let the water evaporate.
In a separate deep fry pan or kadai, add a tablespoon of peanut oil. When hot enough, add the peanuts and fry on low to medium heat for 3-4 minutes till crisp and brown. Set aside. In the same fry pan, add the remaining oil. When hot enough, add the dried red chilli pieces followed by the cumin seeds. When the seeds start to crackle, add the curry leaves along with the cooked split chick pea and cauliflower stalks. Stir fry for a few minutes until heated through. Mix in the peanuts along with the coconut. Serve hot.